Down To Brass Tacks Talks Barbados Water Park – Live Blogging Prime Minister On Show

PROGRAM NOW OVER – Will be repeated tonight at Midnight 

Live on air 11am FM92.9 and on the web now http://www.vob929.com/

Appearing in the studio…

David Ellis – Moderator

Peter Simmons

Alan Marshall

Lawrence Loughlin (sp?) financier 60 years old – resident & Uncle of Mathew Kerins.

Handy Forde – lives in UK – Director of Splash – accountant

Where Is Mr. Kerins?

(hey folks… I’m holding the baby with one hand and typing with the other… Does that mean I’m “baby-dextrous”?) 🙂

Approaching The Government

– Handy Forde says they first approached the Chief Town Planner, who provided information that caused them to believe that Graeme Hall was the only suitable site ? !

– The 2000 space car park was mandated by the government! Town and Country Planning Department.

Dr Carl Watson joins via phone…

– Has knowledge of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. GHNS have met with Splash personnel.

– Is not opposed generally to a water park, just not at Graeme Hall. Graeme Hall is the greatest area of bio-diversity on the island.

– The wells that will be drilled and the salt brine waste might cause a massive die-off of wildlife and plant life downstream.

– Has serious concerns about the economic viability of the project.

– Barbados has signed the RAMSAR treaty – so the waterpark may be in violation of the treaty.

Moderator states that Caribbean Splash has not worked out the details of the project. Handy Forde states they want assistance to ensure the environment is not damaged,

– Dr. Watson replies that there are many unknowns and (surprises) that cannot be predicted. (sounds like Caribbean Splash wants everyone to sign off on the project – ha ha ha)

Forde talks about the economic viability of the project. Projected visitors are… 40% Tourists, 25% Bajans, 35% Caribbean Visitors

Somebody points out that the Caribbean Splash wants to proceed without the coastal study having been completed!!!!!!!!!!!

Ministry of Agriculture objects to the project, but Forde says officials told him they have no objections.

Forde says “There is no study we have done that says we will or will not damage the water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (Yet they want to go ahead with the project before any study is done)

Park revenues 16 million per year with 380,000 visitors per year.

Somebody points out that one study released by Splash don’t add up 2000 visitors per day (bad day) equals 730,000 not 380,000!

Dr. Watson talks about working with Mr. Allard to bring about the GH Nature Sancutary. Watson signs off.

Callers Now About To Start

Our question… Did the Prime Minister meet with Mr. Kerins and Mr. Nurse?

Does a written agreement exist between Government and Splash?

Caller 1 – re Exits & bowling.

Forde… no bowling and many road scenarios. We don’t know what road plan the govt will approve.

Caller 2 – talks about bad attitude by gated communities. Says that the water park will be good for the swamp! Ha Ha Ha! How much did they pay this guy?

Some panel discussion about who Splash spoke with in the Ministry of Agriculture. Ministry of Agriculture & Environment also say NO to the water park.

Panel member calls caller #2 as “silly” …. we agree.

Still typing with one hand re baby 😉

Caller Harry Roberts

– opposed to water park in Graeme Hall…madness. What about accidents like last year that 3 million gallons of raw sewage was dumped into the swamp?

– chlorine – Forde says park will not use chlorine. Aha…caller says he spoke to splash rep who said that chlorine is still the best and most cost effective.

NEWS BREAK

(Shona… can you please come from the shop and take the baby?)

12:42pm Coming back online now.

Prime Minister Owen Arthur On The Air!!!!

– PM says he is the Minister… he will be making the decision but will not prejudice the process by his statements now.

– Speaking to the process.

– Environmental Impact Study has been done, Social study has been done. Many complications re the land.

– No decisions have been made. He will let the process work its way out.

– HE SAYS THE (FLAWED) Caribbean Splash survey is part of the decision process.

MODERATOR>>>> Developers say that they were told (basically that a change of use would be forthcoming)

PM…. tap dancing… not addressing the point as to whether they were told…

PM talking about how the Bird Sanctuary is a tourist development… and was approved.

Now taking question regarding flawed survey… but someone else (Forde) chimes in and saves the PM.

Simmons – “deeply encouraged by your intervention…” Speaks of Duguid and Walcott and other members of the government being against the water park.

PM replies – process will continue as with every major project. PM refusing to commit one way or the other. It will be a long process.

(No one asked if the PM met with the developer.)

President of the Senate and Dr. Storie are the closest to the park.

PM – Nothing in the law prevents the application. The government has given no directions to the agency about the land.

Commercial Break

Moderator… If the government does not give in…

PM – Not a matter of giving in or not… let the process proceed.

Speaking of no copies allowed to make copies of impact study in the library. Why didn’t the Town Planner cause it to be published on the internet?

PM “I can’t see that as a hinderance at all” !!!!!!!!!!!! (The fact that no one could copy the study!!!!)

(Our Comment…

The Prime Minister just doesn’t get it… the report was concealed from general distribution… but he obviously thinks that is just fine. Shows a real attitude that the people don’t need that knowledge.)

PM says 32,000 off the top of his head is the land set aside for agriculture.

Ultimately the decision about the water park will be in the hands of the Prime Minister.

21 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Environment, Island Life, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

21 responses to “Down To Brass Tacks Talks Barbados Water Park – Live Blogging Prime Minister On Show

  1. ross

    Lord have mercy!

  2. John

    Where is the 32,000 acres set aside for agriculture?

  3. John

    Can’t be in St. James.

  4. John

    … and St. James is where our newest sugar factory is located.

    Oh yes, Government plans to close this and spend a few hundred millions on a new one at Buckley, which it closed a few years ago.

    Hope the flyovers are designed to take the mega trucks bringing the cane from St. Lucy and St. Peter to the new factory, or will these parishes cease to be agricultural too?

    …. and transport out of St. Andrew …. man oh man. Guess the Garbage trucks can go to Greenland from the Transfer Station at Mangrove Pond with the compressed bales of garbage and return with a load of canes …. where there is a will there is a way.

    Pardon me if I sound confused, but I am …. upset too.

  5. John

    No Physical Development Plan.

    Last Parlaiment approved one in 1991, 15 years ago.

    By law it is due every five years.

  6. John

    Where are we going?

  7. So what have we learnt from all of this.

    That the Prime Minister is a brilliant tactical politician. His backbenchers are making the party look real good.

    The Developers have nothing whatsoever approved for this project.

    There is no way after all this that this Waterpark could be built in Graeme Hall.
    Too many “powerful” people live in the area.

    I am sure they will find another site.

    This is all politics. The BLP will come out of this as the defenders of our country with MPs like Duguid and Edghill looking after their constituents interest.

  8. If what BFP reports is accurate I am deeply suspicious that “the decision maker” could have an agreement, probably verbal, with the promoters that despite whatever valid objections may arise, he will override them. The shilly-shallying of Mr Owen in not giving straight answers to questions is an insult to the people of Babados. In the face of a broadside of valid reasons why the Caribbean Splash fun park should not be at Graeme Hall, he calmly says “I will make the decision,” leaving the gate wide open to ignore public opinion. He may have good reasons for backing the scheme, but if so he must come out and tell us. By sitting on the fence this way he is exposing himself to rumours that he has ulterior motives in supporting a potentially disastrous project.

  9. The Chief Town Planner “provided information which caused them to believe…”- what sort of double-talk is this?

    Did he in fact say “If you can wangle a lease from Ministry of Agriculture at Graeme Hall instead of buying land, it will save you a fortune?”

  10. You all realise that there is a process for applications to Town Planning.

    Part of the process can involve the Prime minister.
    for example if an application to subdivide land is not granted ,there is an appeals process and the Prime Ministers office can be involved.

    You have to have a lot of faith Town Planning, in your Prime Minister and his Office because they could withhold permission to subdivde Agricultural land and cause a land owner to sell the property at Agricultural land price.

    The “new Owners” can then wait a few years and get permission to subdivide the same land and sell the lots for housing thereby making Millions of dollars profit.

    Fortunately,we do not have that kind of corruption in Barbados….yet.

  11. John

    Nooooo, … they wouldn’t do something wicked like that!!

  12. ross

    Hants, you are making sport. Of course we have that kind of corruption in Barbados. It has been going on for years.
    “The “new Owners” can then wait a few years and get permission to subdivide the same land and sell the lots for housing thereby making Millions of dollars profit”. It happens far more quickly than years!

  13. blah

    such a boring topic…*yawns*…and why on earth is “john” consecutively multi- posting like that?.

  14. John

    You noticed blah … nice to have you on board, even though the topic is boring.

  15. BFP

    It is only a boring topic if you don’t care about what is happening to our island, blah. Once that swamp is paved, that’s it… nothing but shopping malls and condos for the whole area.

  16. John

    Only one potential problem with the location at Ocean Park.

    The basal contour for the coral cap is 30 feet above sea level so unless there is an element of luck and a fresh water stream is hit, a well that is sunk at Ocean Park will probably not find water in any significant amount, and almost certainly not sea water.

    Don’t know how Ocean Park gets sea water but I suspect it is by truck, perhaps I am wrong. Maybe the writer of the article needs to find this out. I will try too.

    If the Water Park aims to get at sea water, it needs to be in the sheet water area, ie close to the coast.

    Ocean Park may be too far inland.

    … but I could be wrong.

  17. Jane

    Wasn’t the swamp at Chancery Lane considered some time ago? What happened to that?

  18. John

    Probably a wetland too and perhaps protected by Ramsar.

    If you look at google earth Gibbons Bogs looks good.

    Maybe the farmers can get compensation through the deal and the Water Park can access the sea water under the fresh water lens.

    The kerosene will be floating on top of the fresh water.

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  20. Velzo

    These deals are sealed over a dinner – not in the Town Planners Office. I am so cynical about this government. Remember the land that was changed from Zone One to Zone Two simply because the new owners had certain influence. They made a cool $9 million overnight.

    The guy clearly had a green light. We all seem to be forgetting that the PM had asked the Ministry of Agriclture to look for a new office years ago. He said that was a prime location for a tourism development. I am telling you that a verbal deal was sealed.

    What is happening to our country?